Is your home a haven for allergens?

News briefs

Spring is on the way, which means allergy season is around the corner. But it's not just springtime pollen that can trigger a runny nose and itchy, watery eyes. Indoor allergens — such as mold, pet dander, and dust mites — can lead to allergy symptoms in some people or make allergy and asthma symptoms worse. And a study published Nov. 30, 2017, in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that 90% of homes have three or more allergens, with at least one allergen at high levels in 73% of homes. Researchers combed through information collected in a large national survey that also assessed allergen levels in bedroom dust collected from nearly 7,000 U.S. households. The presence of pets and pests (cockroaches, rodents) were the major contributors to high levels of indoor allergens in participating homes. Study authors recommend reducing indoor allergens by sealing entry points for pests, keeping pets out of the bedroom, and making sure each week to wash bedding in hot water and vacuum carpets and upholstered furniture.

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